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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Chee Cheong Fun with Unagi

A lot of times when we go out to dim sum, we order the cheong fun - steamed rice noodles filled with either shrimp or char siu. It's just one of those things we have to have, because you can't normally find fresh steamed noodles in the Asian groceries. The ones that are sold in the Asian groceries tend to be cold and hard and not as nice to eat.
Recently we found out that King Eggroll on Story Rd near McLaughlin in San Jose sells fresh steamed cheong fun. We bought a couple packets home, and they were quite soft! Cut the rolls up into chunks, then tossed them in a sauce consisting of hoi sin, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, water, and sesame oil. Garnished with cilantro (didn't have green onions) and sesame seeds.
We brought out a frozen unagi from the freezer and reheated it in the microwave to serve alongside the noodles.

Simple and tasty!

What would *you* do with noodles like these?


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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pho Y #1 (San Jose)

Post # 150 goes to Pho Y #1 Restaurant on Capitol Expressway near Silver Creek Rd in South San Jose. It's supposedly the best place for pho in San Jose. But in a city with the highest concentration of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam, that's a bold statement to make and a hard reputation to maintain.

I wasn't feeling like all those assorted beef cuts you usually get in pho, so I just ordered mine with beef meatballs.

It's not bad, but I don't think it's the best pho. The broth here is nothing special - it doesn't make me go "ahhhhh" when I take that first sip. The broth over at Beef Noodle #1 across the way is better, IMO.

Where is your favorite place for pho?


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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Avocado Shake

"Avocado shake?" A lot of people look skeptical upon hearing those two words. It's true that avocados are fruits but they don't have a typical fruity sweetness to them like bananas or blueberries. No matter; that's what sugar (or in this case, Splenda) is for :-)

The ingredients are simple: one avocado, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some ice chips, and some milk to cover.

Put it in a tall cup, stick in the hand blender, and buzz until smooth. Sweeten with sugar / Splenda to taste.

I love the creaminess that the avocado brings, plus the fresh flavor. Try mixing in some other fruits or flavors if straight avocado is too much for you. Let me know what combinations you come up with!


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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Grilled Arctic Char

Like a lot of people, we don't get nearly enough fresh fish in our diet. Fish is so expensive nowadays! Recently, some friends of ours came back from a fishing trip to Alaska. They had almost a hundred pounds of fish that was caught in the wild, cleaned, and packed frozen. Of course, they couldn't eat it all so we were lucky to get a portion of their haul :-)

These are four roasts of Arctic Char, a fish similar to trout but is ocean going. I love the cute pink dots going down the side. The fish was unbelievably fresh. It was already cleaned, but somehow were missing the heads (darn it!). I seasoned the inside with s&p and stuffed the cavity with a sprig of rosemary, a few sprigs of thyme, and some thin slices of lemon. Then I secured the cavity with toothpicks.

The fish went on an oiled grill grate over low heat and went about 12 minutes before flipping. I don't have the exact time but I was aiming for a medium-well touch test. I loved the lemon and thyme flavors, but didn't really care for the rosemary. The fish itself was tasty - almost like a salmon but not as oily.

Mmm, nothing like grilled fresh fish!


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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pulled Pork

Fosco had a really long post describing in detail how he made his famous Alabama-style pulled pork for his family. Read it if you want to know everything about the process. If you just want the bare facts, read on.

I took 3 pork shoulders: 1, 9 lb bone-in and 2, 7 lb boneless butts. I prepared a double batch of "Southern Succor" rub from the "Renowned Mr. Brown" recipe to rub on the pork butts. Then I made an injection marinade of apple juice, salt, sugar, water and W sauce plus some of the rub. My pork shoulder injection technique needs serious help. I made a total mess of the kitchen when I sprayed marinade all over as I pulled the needle out of the butts. :-P

After injecting the butts, I rubbed them down then put them in a roasting bag and set them in the fridge to marinate.

The pork butts marinated almost 24 hours and then got a final rubdown before going on the Weber Smokey Mountain smoker around 10 pm over a full load of charcoal plus pecan chunks and an empty water pan. The 9 lb bone-in butt went on the bottom grate and the 2, 7 lb boneless butts went on the top grate. Dome temp was about 225 with two bottom vents closed when I went to bed at 12.

Woke up at 7 am and went outside to find the cooker chugging away at 250. Internal temp on one of the butts was 179. Annie watched the temps while I was at work and pulled the butts off when the temp hit 195 at about 10:30 am. 12.5 hrs cooking with NO REFUELING and NO FUSSING WITH THE VENTS. (God, I love my WSM!)

Foiled the butts for an hour, then started pulling. The two boneless butts went to a party but we kept the bone-in butt. This was really good pulled pork! Great flavor and it shredded very nicely. The kids were all over it. I think I prefer the flavor of the pulled pork from the boneless butts because I can get more rub to the interior of the meat better than injecting.

Eat it plain, or enjoy with a vinegar-based Carolina sauce.


More barbecue recipes: Apple City Ribs, Beer Can Chicken, Ribs on the Weber Smokey Mountain

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